There has been much blogging in the past about the alleged political bias of the BBC (in fact there is even a blog dedicated to it) and now the enemies of public broadcasting are lapping up the Hutton Inquiry with the chance to peer inside the workings of the Beeb.
But what about other media? Well, British Spin has an excellent short guide to the agendas of the main outlets.
On News Corp, Spin says: The Times and it’s demotic cousin, the Sun. Three things. First, News Corp wants to shaft the BBC on purely commercial grounds. Second, The government controls many of the regulations that affect News Corps commercial interests. Third, Ideologically both papers will want to support the US/UK intervention. Finally, Rupert Murdoch has form in moulding a story to suit his interests.
Doesn’t he just. And won’t he be lapping up talk of privatising the BBC, knowing full well it will never happen but that he might gain from a fudge.
It is worth noting the approach of Murdoch’s pal (sorry, competitor) Silvio Berlusconi who would like to see public broadcasting in Italy slimmed down and focused on documentaries and current affairs and get out of the entertainment market.
Why? Well that would leave the mass market, with all the resultant ad revenues to his own commercial stations. If the Beeb were to suffer a similar slimming down then not only ITV would benefit. In the increasingly digital television market Sky would be greatly strengthened.
Of course I have no evidence that this is Murdoch’s strategy but it will be interesting to watch out for future op-ed pieces in his press calling for a ‘leaner’ BBC to ‘refocus’ on its ‘core role’.